020613 bioremediation

October 5, 2014

020613

Dear bankers, investors, industrialists,
vivisectors, animal testers and owners of a few:

I know you’re busy, but through your work your damage does accrue
so please unsubscribe me and mine from everything you do.

We both know that good God-fearing Nazi men
kissed their kids to bed at night and slept quite well
after a hard day’s work of herding and gasing Jews.

To the extent this description is a fit for you
we might need to leave you hanging
with the rest of the coward white sheet crew.

You’ve tempted fate and justice reaps you ornaments
adorn and feed a tree of life your highest purpose:
mushroom composterity, bloodmeal waste and ferment
allies derive nutrition as they digest your toxic stew.

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“why not dogs?”

March 31, 2011

This is a rambling response to a question someone I respect posed in her blog:

How can you advocate for a bill to “protect animals and their owners from harm” and eat another animal that night for dinner?  How can you allow another animal to go through the terrifying, horrendous, oppressive, and murderous process that it takes to get its body or its products onto your plate?  Because it’s not as cute as a dog?

domestication itself is oppressive.  we shouldn’t “own” anything.  we shouldn’t have “pets” — that’s just another euphemism for anthropocentric system of the enslavement and control of other species.  and we shouldn’t be thinking in inherently abusive and exploitative terms such as “resources” (“sustainable resource management” is an oxymoron). [all that begs the question, what SHOULD we be doing?] Read the rest of this entry »


Is “vegan hypocrisy” redundant?

April 16, 2010

I am reposting my response to a vegan soapboxing about animal rights and respect.  The title is provocative — I think there are plenty of ways and reasons to be vegan and vegetarian without being a hypocrite.  I just wish that the hypocritical thinking wasn’t as pervasive as it currently is — it doesn’t help anyone when vegans are constantly trying to position themselves amongst the “elite” of environmental activists, and it calls into question their understanding of the systemic nature of oppression.  To talk about the oppression of animals (and plants, and…), we need to talk about human power, privilege, and identity, and how that shapes our relationships with non-humans on this world.  It means taking a look at our spirituality and the spiritual connection we experience and share (or not) with all living things, regardless of their kingdom.

The argument I hear boils down to “I don’t eat meat because I respect animals.”  I believe it’s a dangerous and incoherent line of reasoning. “Oppose the injustice against the plant kingdom: stop eating plants!”  I.e., the injustice isn’t in what we eat, it is in HOW.  For examples, see many of the aboriginal cultures we are still systematically dismantling.  The full response is below.

Read the rest of this entry »


Quote of the day: Banned Books

January 10, 2010

Banning Maya Angelou from school libraries and curricula is like banning Jesus’ crucifixion from Bible studies because it is “violent” and possibly “gory.”

Here is the relevant quote:

While you’re at it OC, ban the bible too. There’s a lot more rape and killing in that horrid book.

No, I don’t think the Bible should be banned.  I think every school should have important religious and cultural texts in its library, for students to access and study (including important books of other religions, such as the Torah and Qur’an).

For the same reason, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings should be in every school library.  It is a relevant, timeless classic that can help us learn about ourselves, including how to develop empathy and compassion.  For example, to overcome internalized homophobia (that says gay people somehow want or need to become straight, rather than asking us to accept them for who they are).  And isn’t that what Jesus was all about?

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”   –Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Open Letter of Resignation

September 21, 2009

PLEASE NOTE:  Many readers have stumbled across this post while searching for example letters of resignation.  I am not suggesting the below resignation as a template or model if you are considering resigning from your workplace for similar issues.  Please be aware that there are repercussions for resigning publicly, and for calling people on their crap if they have more institutional power than you do.  One of the ways you can protect yourself from retaliation is to give your boss a letter of resignation that does not implicate or accuse them or wrong-doing.  Unlike the below.

Below is the letter of resignation I just sent.  I was doing anti-violence work under an executive director who has her entire staff terrified and purges the organization of all employees who show anything other than submissive assent to her.  Why does she bully her employees?  According to some recent peer-reviewed research in social psychology, it’s because she feels both incompetent AND empowered.  Scary combination, and completely unacceptable and inappropriate anywhere — let alone within the context of anti-violence and social justice work!

UPDATE (9/21):  The SATF Executive Director’s response is included, below.

UPDATE (9/24):  Another follow up from the Executive Director, which includes a message that Eva Kutas, Board President, sent to the SATF staff (but not the listservs).

UPDATE (10/7):  A follow up that came through RAINN, entitled “Just What Are We Afraid Of?”

September 21, 2009

To Whom It May Concern,

It is with a heavy heart that I hereby submit my resignation as Prevention Specialist of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force. Read the rest of this entry »


cognitive dissonance

September 15, 2008

Every election year reminds me of the phrase cognitive dissonance. By cognitive dissonance, I mean

glimpses of a reality that contrasts sharply or even conflicts with what we already believe and/or want to be true

Read the rest of this entry »